Lobbying game

With tax collections lagging due to the sluggish economy, times are tough for local governments.

Except, that is, when it comes to finding tax money to pay lobbyists to arm twist the Legislature in search of more tax money.

Next Tuesday, the Henderson City Council will consider paying Richard Perkins $240,000 over the next two years to be a legislative lobbyist. Mr. Perkins, 47, is a retired Henderson police chief who also served 14 years in the Legislature before leaving in 2006.

No doubt Mr. Perkins -- who served as Assembly speaker for six years -- knows his way around Carson City. And Henderson isn't doing anything out of the ordinary -- doling out big, fat legislative lobbying contracts is as common among Southern Nevada local governments as the occasional corruption indictment.

But we've said it before and we'll say it again: This whole practice of governments hiring people to lobby other governments -- all on the taxpayer dime -- is flat out unseemly. Don't lawmakers in Carson City already represent constituents living in Henderson or North Las Vegas or Clark County?

It's even more ridiculous, though, given the ongoing pleas of poverty we must now endure from the public sector.


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